HOW TO RECHARGE WHEN YOU’RE FEELING EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTED

Friday, June 01, 2018 Cape Town, South Africa



I don’t think there is a mom on this planet who has not gotten to the point where her cup was not just empty, it was bone dry and starting to crack. In those moments tears flow freely and our exhaustion feels very much like a physical presence, looming over our shoulders. So how do you recharge when you’re feeling emotionally exhausted? When you are at your breaking point? The thing about being a mom is that taking time to look after your mental health can feel incredibly indulgent when you have kids screaming for attention, a husband who’s working late and deadlines at your day job that need to be met. But when you are so tired that you LITERALLY STOP FEELING FEELINGS you are not going to be doing your best as a mom, a partner, a chef, an employee and you know, just generally as a person. Girl, you need to recharge those batteries because you will burn out (I’m talking to myself here).

I can’t tell you what will work for you. We all fill our cups differently (I am really running with this analogy now, hey?). But I can tell you what works for me. So let’s do this:

HOW TO RECHARGE WHEN YOU’RE FEELING EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTED


SLEEP

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! OMG I know! Hilarious. But hear me out, you will literally go insane if you do not get enough sleep. It’s no secret that moms are perpetually tired. We don’t ask for help and we sometimes feel like we need the permission of our entire families to actually just go to sleep. Sleep is not a luxury. It is essential. As essential as food and oxygen and water. I always feel bad if I take a nap, like I’ve left Regan to do more than “his share”. But if I am tired and I see him sleeping, I get really fucking angry. Sleep envy is a real thing, and you know why it’s a real thing? Because we are tired AF. Do me a favour, this weekend, take a nap. Don’t ask permission. Just tell everyone, “Mommy is going to lay down for an hour and whoever wakes me will have to clean the toilet”. Your partner will manage. Your kids will survive. You, my friend, may not.

DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU PROUD OF YOU

Ok now that you have had a rest, you need to do something that will remind you of how freaking amazing you are. For me, this could be cooking an awesome, complicated meal or exercising. Whatever you decide, get those happy, self-loving hormones flowing through your system.

LISTEN TO MUSIC

Music is cathartic for me. It is the glue that holds my broken spirit together. Now that we have Spotify in SA you have no excuse, go and make a radical, happy mood boost playlist. You need it. Turn up the volume, sing along, dance if you want to!

TREAT YO’ DAMN SELF

This is something I have only started to do quite recently. Historically, all my money went to my kids and Regan. Spending money on myself was utterly ridiculous, why when my kids needed things too? I have silenced that voice. Now I treat myself once a month. Sometimes it’s a big treat – hello new Air Max Essentials, sometimes it’s a small treat like a new nail polish or a face mask. It doesn’t matter how much it costs, it just matters that whatever I chose is just for me alone.

LOOK GOOD

So you’ve rested, you’ve done something to make yourself feel proud, you’ve gone out and splurged a little, the next step is easy… Get your ass dressed, put on some makeup and stare at how absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous you are. Because you are. Put on your favourite outfit, fix your hair, put on makeup (if that’s your thing) and just enjoy how flipping good you look.

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE

Call a friend, grab your husband’s hand, call your mom even, but make a date and go out. Talk to another human being about a topic other than your kids. Enjoy this innate ability to hold a conversation with another adult. Enjoy not being asked to fetch a juice or wipe a bum or change a nappy. Remember that girl living deep down underneath all the tiredness and the tears and the stained trackie bottoms, she’s clawing her way to the surface and you need to give her a little boost ok? The hardest part about being a mom to small children is the loneliness that comes along with it. That loneliness is so toxic, don’t forget that there is a world out there, a world full of people who love you and want to see you and want to hear about more than just your kids.

REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND YOUR INHERENT VALUE

Now if you have followed all of my tips, this last one will be really easy. Make a cup of coffee or tea, sit down on the couch, look at the mess, the kids, the gorgeous partner, look at all of these wonderful people who fill your life and your soul and remember, to them, you are irreplaceable There is no one who is able to kiss an eina or make a mac and cheese quite like you can. And while those skills are not the measure of who you are as a woman, the fact that here, in this living room, with these people, you are an absolute queen is pretty incredible.

Don’t forget, none of us suffers alone. For every mom that feels like her sanity is frayed, there are at least two of us who can hold her hand. Don’t let your friends suffer alone, you might be ok today, but who knows, next week it may be you in the trenches. And if you know of a mom who is struggling, please do share this with her. Or maybe share your own version of this.

Nikki
Xxx

12 comments

  1. Lovely post Nikki. I find myself in this position many times. Parenting is hard especially if you have a full time job as well. What I mostly do to recharge is take off from mommy duties for a day by not cooking and getting into bed reading or watching a movie or something.

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    1. Thank you so much lovely! It's literally the hardest thing we will ever do. But looking after yourself makes it easier.

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  2. Great post Nikki! As a gay dad reading your post it felt like you were writing about me 🙈 I totally relate and agree with your tips. Spot on!

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    1. Yasss Manii! Thank you so much for your comment and I am so glad you could relate!

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  3. My way to recharge is to watch a comedy movie.

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    1. Oh my gosh yes!! Have you watched Chris Rock's latest Netflix special? It is SO hilarious!

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  4. Oh my goodness, the number of times my cup has cracked in the last three+ years!
    These are all excellent points, but I will add one: if you feel you need it, get therapy. Even if you feel like you don't deserve it, it can help enormously. Getting myself to a therapist has been my best self-love action of the last 12 months.

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    1. Spot on my friend! I am not sure why I didn't include this but I couldn't agree more. It is so important.

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  5. YASSSS so true. Thanks Nikki and good luck! x

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  6. So bladdy accurate! Feels like you have taken a page out of my book. Tired just isnt the word. I spend unnecessary hours trying to figure out how working moms do it because it feels like im failing in every way. And then those exquisite, frustrating tiny humans of mine take me by the hand and Im reminded how truly blessed i am to have them call me Mama. However, having not slept through the night for nearly a year(my youngest is a shitty sleeper)it really begins to take its toll on you as a person and you as a parent. I burst out crying at my kids nursery school yesterday because i was once again late for work(overslept thanks to tiny tot being up from 1am to 4am) and then my 2 yr old just would not get out of the car. Not my proudest moment. Being a mom is so tough. Beyond rewarding but you bet your bollocks its tough! Thanks for this reminder that even when we're alone, we're still in it together.

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  7. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids.

    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter
    and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed
    the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had
    to tell someone!

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